Ben Taylor

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Stretches in prison

About Ben Taylor

Ben gave the following statement on the day of his sentencing:

I would like to start by saying that whatever sentence or charges against me are ultimately counterproductive and irrelevant. Please feel free to steal what money and possessions I have, I really don’t own much. And if you are intending to send me to prison, especially for a long period of time, it will only serve to fuel the campaign to insulate Britain.

I want to invite you now to think very carefully about what you do next. And to particularly consider the gravity of the situation that you are currently in control of. Because if you do send me away to prison, ten people, or more, will step forward and take my place. And if you go ahead and put all nine of us away, a hundred people, or more, will step forward and take our place And if you send a hundred of us away, a thousand people will step forward and take our place. And if you somehow manage to stop all effective non-violent protesting in Britain, then unfortunately things will only turn violent.

And I imagine that nobody in this room wants that, at least that’s what I hope. Because if you do want that, if you would prefer the unnecessary violence, suffering, and death of people in this country, if that is the outcome that suits you, then you are quite clearly an ally in this systematic project of mass genocide, occuring both in Britain, and throughout the world. And if that’s the case, then you should be standing where I am standing now.

So, I ask you to think very carefully about what you do with your power.

This injunction is a grotesque threat. It is a childish threat. But it is only a threat, and it does not scare me.

You know that these demands [of Insulate Britain] are right, that they ring true, and that they only seek to help people, rather than leave them in the gutter. It is clear to see that what you don’t like is the people delivering this message, and how we are delivering it.

Do you agree with this? Well, whether you do or not, is also irrelevant. Because it is just another escape from the main issue that we find ourselves with: why does our government think it’s ok to allow millions of its people to suffer in fuel poverty year on year? For thousands of its people to die each winter? To ignore the potential of creating hundreds of thousands of proper jobs for an economy that needs it, and for a people that needs it more?

Why does our government think it’s ok to host COP 26, spend two weeks lying to the world about how much work it is doing to tackle the climate crisis, yet fail to take the most basic first step of insulating Britain’s housing stock?

If you do not put me in prison, I will go out and block a motorway at the earliest opportunity, to continue delivering this message. And I will continue to do this until our government makes a meaningful statement, and fucking acts on it.

I do not regret my actions, they are proportional and absolutely necessary. It’s with great concern that I ask the following question: will the government make the decision to insulate and retrofit Britain’s housing?